BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Southeastern Conference will use a Centralized Video Review process for the 2020 SEC Softball Tournament, which will take place May 6-9 at the John and Ann Rhoads Stadium on the campus of the University of Alabama.
This will mark the first time a conference will use a centralized process as permitted by NCAA rules.
A Replay Official in the Conference Office will review plays during the tournament and will render decisions that will be communicated to the on-site umpire crew.
A similar system was implemented for both the 2018 and 2019 SEC Baseball Tournaments, in which video review was conducted from a replay booth in the press box. A replay official made decisions from the replay booth and communicated those decisions to the crew chief on the field.
This marks the fourth sport in which the SEC has implemented a collaborative or centralized replay system. The SEC successfully implemented a collaborative replay process in the sport of football in 2016, and the Conference secured NCAA approval to implement a collaborative instant replay process in men's basketball the following year. Baseball began using centralized video review for the 2018 SEC Tournament and then used it throughout the 2019 regular season in addition to the 2019 Tournament.
In 2019, the SEC was granted permission by the NCAA, on an experimental basis for the conference tournament only, to allow select plays that were permitted to be reviewed in softball with each head coach having one video challenge opportunity per game.
In 2020, the NCAA approved a national standard set of regulations for regular-season conference games and conference tournaments. Coaches will be allowed two video challenges per game, and Umpires will be allowed to initiate a video review beginning with the sixth inning.